The Lotus Temple

[Based on sights and sounds (and smells) from Delhi 12th to 14th July]

We had another free day while waiting our G-Adventures Essential India tour to begin, so decided to do some Delhi sight seeing. The conditions were more like a wet weekend in Blackpool; the main giveaways being the presence of tuk-tuks and a driving style that requires a strong and true faith.
The Lotus Temple is a remarkable and very beautiful structure, built as center for all religions, under the belief that all religions at heart are aspiring towards truth and love.
The internal space was incredible. There was a calm reverential air, broken only by the cawing of a local pigeon producing spectral echoes as the bird and its sound moved through the complex angles of the building.
20150712_IslamicMasonry_WEB Qutab Minar20150712_NIKKIPAT_WEB
20150712_HumayunTomb_WEB Hamayun’s Tomb20150712_HumayunPeople_WEB
We hurried through some further architectural wonders, and found ourselves at the India Gate, which is a memorial to 82,000 soldiers of the undivided British Indian Army who died in the period 1914–21 in the First World War. As it was Sunday (an Indian day off) the area was thronged with Indian tourists, some of whom were just as interested in us as we were in them.
20150712_IndiaFountain_WEB India Gate
On the way back to the hotel our taxi driver took us past the gargantuan parliament complex and down a street almost deserted, apart from two gangs of Macaque monkeys. We introduced ourselves to the tour group over a meal, Raghu will be our guide for the next two weeks.

The next day began with glorious sunshine and a tour around one of the slum children projects in Delhi. Sabir, an eighteen year old who had been taken in and become part of the project was our guide for the morning. On the way to showing us one of the hostels where the children were housed and educated he took us down a seemingly innocuous alleyway, where ceramic tiles carrying sacred images and symbols from the Hindu, Muslim, Christian, Buddhist and Jewish religions.
He explained that the tiles were there to maintain the structural integrity of the wall. The alleyway had been used as a urinal to such an extent that the mortar holding it together had begun to weaken, so the owners of the building had put the tiles there to deter people, and with Delhi being so multicultural you need a variety of tiles to cover all bases. This technique is used all over the city.

After meeting the charming and playful kids at the hostel, we said goodbye to Sabir, and went on to see the Jama Masjid Mosque, the Sikh Temple (which feeds 20,000 people each day) and the bustling city streets of this very crowded city.
The impossible is being attempted around each street corner. There are no obvious rules of the road, but the whole thing keeps moving anyway. As we left the next morning, I wondered how a city of 25 to 30 million souls (no-one seems to know the exact number) can function amid so much chaos, but I think it might have something to do with what is holding the wall up in the alleyway.


7 thoughts on “The Lotus Temple

  1. Doubtless you are having a most exciting time, may the Gods look after you both. So you have now experienced tuk-tuk travel. I take it that you will be in the this area for some time being escorted by your guide . he may be able to take you to a real Curry House, Mike would enjoy that the curry not the house .Enjoy the experience Take care
    Love Tony and Gaye

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We are having an interesting and exiting time. We have ridden on tuk-tuks and rickshaws through some very hectic and unruly traffic. The approach to cross-roads seems to be to ride straight through them at normal speed and hope for the best. I have been loving the food – curry for breakfast every day. The guided tour is now over, but we have just arrived in the Himalayas. I will be preparing a few more blog posts to bring it all up to date. Love to you both, Patrick and Nikki.


    1. Hi Sandra. It is interesting! India is an amazing place, and it’s massive, and very diverse. Let us know what your travel plans are in January, so we can get our transport and accommodation sorted. It should be a lot of fun. Cheers. Pat and Nikki xx


    1. Hi James, still having fun in India, though it can be challenging at times. I’m still getting used to the WordPress interface, which is why I haven’t replied until now. Still learning. Take care. Pat


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